Swat! That is how you deal with mosquitoes in your yard. You slap them when they bite you. But you don't always have that opportunity. A mosquito can bite you without catching your attention. Do you know why? It has to do with the anticoagulant in mosquito saliva, which thins your blood and makes it much easier to draw from your skin; this is why you may find a lot more mosquito bites on your skin than you expect.
Since mosquitoes are sneaky, what can you do to get out of the line of bite? Can you use plants that deter mosquitoes? You can, but they don't work well. Can you use a torch, candle, or coil? Yes, but these products don't work well either. Mosquitoes go around smells they don't like and still find a way to zero in on you. So, what can you do? What works to prevent mosquito bites? We're glad you asked.
Let's look at everything you need to know about mosquito bites, from why they itch and how you can reduce the itching sensation to how you can avoid mosquito bites by targeting the problem at its source. As always, we want to quickly remind you that the experts at Go-Forth Pest Control are here if you need us. We provide mosquito control in Virginia Beach, and our team is here to help. Connect with us to learn more or schedule a service visit.
The Anatomy Of A Mosquito Bite: How It Happens And Why It Itches
Mosquitoes are persistent. Perhaps you've noticed. Do you know why? It has to do with the reason a mosquito wants to bite you. It isn't commonly understood, but only female mosquitoes bite. Neither male nor female mosquitoes eat blood for sustenance. They live on sweet natural food sources like nectar and plant sap. But the carbohydrates aren't enough when a female wants to produce eggs. She needs a meal with protein. That is why she wants to bite you. She needs a blood meal.
When a female mosquito lands on your skin, she will draw blood out in the same way she draws sap from a plant stem. She sticks her needle-like mouthparts in and sucks the juice out. If not for the irritating downside, you might not mind so much. Unfortunately, those bites itch.
Why do mosquito bites itch so bad? As we said earlier, mosquitoes have anticoagulants in their saliva. While they often bite us without causing any discomfort, that anticoagulant does something unpleasant. It causes an allergic reaction. The human body sends histamines into the area to fight off what your body thinks is an invasion, and the histamines are what cause inflammation, rash, heat, and itching.
You can combat the itch of mosquito bites by properly treating the wounds. Wash the bites with soapy water. Administer hydrocortisone to reduce the irritation. Apply rubbing alcohol or aloe vera for added comfort. Use a hot or cold cloth to reduce the swelling, and consider taking an antihistamine tablet to combat your body's allergic response.
We're sure you know that mosquitoes cause more than just itchy bite wounds. They're known to transmit viruses. But how bad are mosquitoes in the United States? Why is it that you can get dozens of bites and not get sick? Let's quickly look at how this works.
Mosquito Bite Dangers: The Potential Health Risks
We're sure you hear all the time about how you should guard against mosquito bites. But you may shrug that advice off when you get dozens of bites and don't get sick. What's the deal with that? Can mosquitoes transmit viruses in the United States? Yes, they can. And they transmit diseases much more than you might think. There are a few reasons why you can get lots of bites without getting sick. Here are a few quick facts:
Not all mosquitoes can transmit diseases to humans. If you have these mosquitoes in your yard, you will only get itchy bites and nothing more.
Not all mosquitoes that can transmit diseases are infected. You can get bitten many times by a mosquito that can spread disease, like malaria, and never get malaria because the disease is not present in the animal population near your home.
Mosquitoes can pick up diseases from humans during outbreaks, but outbreaks are rare. You can watch the news to track when viruses like malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, or Zika virus are spreading.
Mosquito abatement in the United States is widespread and highly effective. The government applies mosquito control and surveillance to track and control viruses. Businesses use mosquito control to increase the comfort of their customers, and residents get mosquito control for their yards. All of these help to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
While we have some shielding from mosquito diseases, like malaria, yellow fever, and Zika virus, our local animal populations do carry some viruses that mosquitoes transmit. The worst local mosquito-borne disease is West Nile virus. It is a disease that causes encephalitis and is far from the only one. Encephalitis is a swelling of the brain, and, as you can probably guess, it causes a headache. If you have flu-like symptoms and a headache, it is possible you have a mosquito-borne virus. Sickness caused by mosquitoes is often mistaken for the common cold or influenza.
Now that you have things in perspective, we can focus on how you can avoid mosquito-related illnesses. It involves managing mosquito activity on your property to keep mosquitoes away.
Bite Prevention Tips: Protecting Yourself From Mosquitoes
It is common for Virginia Beach residents to use products that repel mosquitoes. There are many products and many natural scents that repel mosquitoes, such as lemon eucalyptus, lavender, citronella, and thyme. But, as we pointed out, female mosquitoes will find a way around things that smell bad. They are on a mission and won't be easy to deter. If you want to avoid bites, you must get rid of the mosquitoes in your yard. Is this possible? You bet it is. Here's why.
Mosquitoes that spread viruses hardly ever travel far. Some will go no farther than around three hundred yards in their entire life. When mosquitoes take to the air, they typically stay close to where they hatch. Keep that in mind when mosquitoes bite you in your yard. There is a good chance those mosquitoes hatched on your property.
How do you prevent mosquitoes from hatching on your property? You have to remove their preferred breeding environments. Most hazardous mosquito species lay their eggs in stagnant water. They'll use an overturned frisbee, clogged gutter, mud puddle, kiddie pool, or a plastic cup sitting next to your outdoor grill. Remove all stagnant water sources, and you'll make it much harder for mosquitoes to hatch in your yard.
As you work to remove potential breeding sites, take time to consider vegetation overgrowth and moisture in the area. Since mosquitoes eat nectar and plant sap, weeds can attract them. Remove weeds and trim plants to get rid of the food. Along with this, consider how vegetation traps moisture. Mosquitoes are simple organisms that dehydrate easily. They hide in humid and sheltered locations. Keeping the vegetation near your house dry can keep mosquitoes from hiding in your landscaping.
These methods can really make a difference in how many mosquitoes you have in your yard. While not 100 percent effective, these strategies will have far more of an impact than most of the products you may try to prevent bites. If you want to go a step further with your mosquito control, professional mosquito control in Virginia Beach is the way to go.
Professional Mosquito Control: An Effective Way For A Bite-Free Yard
What is professional mosquito control? It is a combination of methods to achieve one comprehensive control solution. When you contact Hawk Mosquito & Pest, here are a few things you can expect from your service visit:
A technical pest pro will inspect your yard and consider mosquito resting sites, breeding sites, and other factors that promote infestations.
We will treat key areas around your home to address adult mosquitoes on your property.
We will treat standing water resources with a product that contains insect growth regulators (IGRs). These prevent mosquitoes from developing into flying pests that bite you.
We can treat one time or provide routine treatments from April through September.
Our treatments give you relief from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and chiggers.
Do you live in Virginia Beach or the surrounding areas? Would you like to make your backyard a nicer place to relax? Contact Hawk Mosquito & Pest for mosquito control near you. We use industry-leading pest management and environmentally friendly solutions to help Virginia Beach residents get relief from a long list of pests. Contact us today and tell us about your pest concern. We have the solutions that will help.